S6 E5 Florida Gets A Job

Welcome back friends and fans. Thank you for joining me for another review of GT. In this episode, Florida gets a job as a school bus driver. hope you enjoy the review.

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Thelma tried to get Keith to dance with her, claiming he needed to exercise his bad leg. He protested that anything starting with ex was no fun i.e. exercise, execution, ex-wife. She answered he should expect to sleep on the couch if he didn’t dance with her, calling him ex-husband. He then did his Little Richard impression and decided to get down. Suddenly, the record player stopped and Keith decided that making out was his kind of exercise. Florida came out to collect laundry and they said they were exercising, she said they certainly didn’t need any Gatorade (lol). She asked if Willona came over with the want ads yet, Thelma answered she would get it when she got off work at the boutique. She asked Florida what kind of job she wanted, she answered she wanted something challenging but secure, demanding but rewarding and dynamic but fulfilling. Keith joked she should enlist in the Marines. J.J. came home after he struck out getting a new job. When he sat down, he stated he was so tired a group of Vegas showgirls couldn’t get him up. But when Thelma announced she’d start cooking dinner, he said he had night work to do. When she said she’d change clothes first, he made a wisecrack about her panty hose. Keith answered he can fit in them and Thelma told Keith he was becoming an Evans fast (wait, wasn’t she supposed to become an Anderson?).


Willona came over with the want ads after Florida told J.J. when it came to doing nothing, she said “nothing doing”. Willona also shared with them the good news that Penny was named the director of the school play, “The Boy Who Cried Wolf”. A less-than-enthused Florida and J.J. lamented they were hoping she had leads for jobs. Florida found an ad for a school bus driver. Willona thought it would be an excellent job for her. Florida also remembered she wanted to work with kids so she decided to give it a go. Penny came in upset because of one kid in the play, Gary (who was also in That’s Entertainment, Evans Style). Gary came in to settle a matter with her and called J.J. “totem pole”. Willona introduced him to Florida and he greeted her with “Hey, Flo”. She sternly told him to refer to her as Mrs. Evans (why not Mrs. Dixon). She then told him if he behaved himself, she would fix him a piece of sweet potato pie. When she asked him what his beef was with Penny, he said he wanted to be the shepherd in the school play, but she cast him as a sheep. She said he was too small to be the sheep.  Besides, he couldn’t see the water bucket. He replied if she didn’t give him a better part, he would dump the bucket of water over her head. Florida asked Willona to hold the pie and he claimed he was jiving. She asked him what was wrong with being a sheep and he answered he wouldn’t have any lines. He also didn’t like eating grass and wearing cotton in his costume. She tried using reverse psychology and told Penny if Gary couldn’t act then he shouldn’t even do the play. Gary was on to her but decided if she wanted him to take the part, then he would.

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Alderman Davis came to the door and Florida informed him that she was up for the job. He promised to put in a good word for her, on the condition that they support him in the upcoming election. J.J. volunteered to paint him signs, something his opponent did and he wished he thought of it first. Florida stated she didn’t want the job through the influence of Davis, but because she was qualified and capable of doing the job.

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Michael came home and J.J. showed him a portrait he made of Davis, with hair. Florida was studying for the driver’s test and demanded silence. Michael assured her that since she passed the interview and the written test, she should do well. She stated she was still nervous as she was getting closer to it. She then compared it to having a first baby. Michael said if she can get through with J.J., she can get through anything. J.J. answered when Michael was born, he was so ugly the doctor slapped himself. Willona came by and suggested she have a pre-test with Thelma, Keith, J.J. and Michael. She pretended to drive the bus with them on it. When Willona asked Keith if he can act like a kid, he answered in a high-pitched, childish voice “do I have to eat spinach?”. J.J., Thelma and Keith were arguing while Michael complained he had to go to the bathroom. She answered he had to wait 20 minutes before the next stop. Keith made fun of him while the rest of them were about to have a fistfight. Florida berated them, stating they should behave nicely, for their parents were sacrificing to send them to school and that was the least they can do. They said she did a great job but J.J. noticed she forgot to stop the bus.

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Alderman Davis showed up again with his niece, Sondra. She was an insufferable snob who came to say she was up for the bus driving job as well. She also stated she was much more qualified, for she took child psychology and was a cum laude. J.J. prompted to make some finishing touches on his portrait. Just as Sondra was gloating about how she thought the job was hers, Gary came over and she tried faking her fondness for children on him. Gary took an instant disliking to her and totally sabotaged her plan to take the job. Although Florida didn’t approve of his behavior, she stated how he made it clear that she wasn’t right for the job. Then he asked her for another slice of sweet potato pie to get the taste of grass out of his system.

Original airdate October 7, 1978

Written by Michael G. Moye

Directed by Gerren Keith

Guest stars Albert Reed (sixth appearance), Gary Coleman (2nd appearance), Janet MacLachlan

Bookman was not in this episode

This episode introduced us to Florida’s new career as a school bus driver. Only thing I didn’t get was when she told J.J. “when it comes to doing nothing, I say nothing doing”. She didn’t start working until the third season in that department store. Before that, she was a housewife. Gary Coleman absolutely stole the show in this episode, although he was obnoxious.



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